Men who go through cycles of slimming down, then regaining body weight may be compromising their bone health, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In this study, 4,601 men between the ages of 25 and 50 were followed for 28 years. At the end of the study( when the men were over 50) the researchers measured bone structure fragility and calculated the incidence of forearm fracture.

The more often a man's weight cycled - that is, losing weight, then gaining it back -  the more likely he was to suffer a fractured forearm after age 50,  reported the researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo. 

Losing weight four or more times before the age of 50 nearly tripled the risk of forearm fracture after 50.  Among the men whose weight cycled, the greater the weight loss, the higher the risk of forearm fracture.

Men who maintained a more constant body weight had a fracture rate of less than 20 percent.

It appears that weight cycling could increase bone fragility by causing microscopic damage to bone structure. Weight cycling could also boost risk of falling by weakening muscles.

Osteoporosis, a condition of frail or "porous" bones, is a health concern among older men.  According to Osteoporosis Canada, at least one in eight men over 50 have the disease.

It's important for men to maintain adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D throughout their adult life - especially if they're exercising and losing weight.

The daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D for men over 50 is 1500 milligrams and 1000 IU (international units) respectively.

Click here for more information about healthy weight loss strategies for men that don't compromise bone health.  

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.